10 TED Talks That’ll Inspire You to Rethink What You Know About Life

Sometimes, it takes more than the latest best-selling novel or inspirational blog post to get yourself pumped to tackle every day like it’s your last. And really, who has the time?

But if powerful, passionate and educational speeches are your thing, an 18-minute long TEDx or TED Talk video could be the ticket. Along with a complete breakfast, it’s a perfect way to start your day—or to spend your snack or coffee break. You’re bound to come away with invigorating and new perspectives that can really shake up your day–or even your life. Check out some of these TED Talks for instant, thought-provoking inspiration:

1. Your elusive creative genius, Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert Fascinating insight from the successful author of “Eat, Pray, Love” about finding the mysterious source of creative genius.

2. The skill of self-confidence, Dr. Ivan Joseph

Ivan Joseph This former soccer coach discusses positive thinking and how critical it is in life to believe in ourselves.

3. Why work doesn’t happen at work, Jason Fried

Jason Fried Thought leader and speaker Jason Fried talks about the main reasons why the office isn’t really the best place for getting any work done. Pretty much answering why it’s better (and cheaper) to work from home.

4. A kinder, gentler philosophy of success, Alain de Botton

Alain De Botton Philosophy guru Alain de Botton ponders the basic ideas of success and failure and reveals the anxiety underlying it all.

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5. How to quit your life and reboot, Priya Parker

Priya_Parker The Thrive Labs creator pinpoints 7 important techniques to help you connect with the purpose and passion in your life, get over your fears and make something happen.

6. Rethinking the way we sit down, Niels Diffrient

Niels Diffrient Well-known industrial designer Niels Diffrient completely redesigns the office chair as we know it.

7. Flow, the secret to happiness, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi breaks down the secret to happiness.

8. Smash fear, learn anything, Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss You’ve read his thought-provoking book–now see what the productivity guru has to say about discovering who you really are when you try to learn something new.

9. The power of time off, Stefan Sagmeister

stefan_sagmeisterjpg Designer Stefan Sagmeister explores the powerful reasons behind the long sabbatical he routinely takes from his work.

10. All it takes is 10 mindful minutes, Andy Puddicombe

Andy-Puddicombe Can you do absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe tells you why should try this at home on a daily basis.

TED Talks are the college lectures that you wish you had but never knew about. Just sit back, soak it all in and enjoy the benefits of someone else’s hard-earned experience and wisdom.


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  • Love TEDx talks. These are some really good ones!

  • Andy Puddicombe’s 10 minute mindfulness is definitely life-changing–really puts things into perspective! But the best TED Talks presentation ever is from Sir Ken Robinson, “Do schools kill creativity?” We all learn differently, and it’s not too late to accept that we all WORK differently too! http://youtu.be/iG9CE55wbtY

  • Audrey Henderson

    I confess to never having heard a TED talk, although I know about them. TEDx is supposedly coming to Chicago this month. Perhaps I will check it out.

  • Gwynne Shotwell’s TEDx talk last year at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. was sobering (pun intended). She is president and CEO of SpaceX, a California-based company founded in 2002 that designs, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft. Her company is trying to figure out how we can live on the moon and other planets. She got everyone’s attention when she said that Californians spend $12 billion on beer each year and only $11 billion educating students in the critical
    areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Yikes! Bottom line–the talks really make you think.

  • LanguageVox

    Great post! I could watch TED all day long. One of my favorite talks is “Your body language shapes who you are” (http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are#t-1127136) a bit too touchy-feely but eye-opening to see how important our body language is to our moods and attitude about ourselves.

  • I really enjoyed ‘All it takes is 10 mindful minutes’.. thanks for the post!

  • . ..

    You forgot Shane Koyczan!

  • Lucy

    What I love about TED is the fact that it reminds me that there are still thinking people around and not everyone spends their lives sitting in front of the TV wishing they were famous.